RGK and Inst. Arch. Budapest joint project receives 2017 Shanghai Archaeology Award


The joint research project of the Institute of Archaeology, RCH and the Research Unit Budapest of the Romano-Germanic Commission, German Archaeological Institute, was awarded by the third Shanghai Archaeology Forum as one of the ten best projects of the world. The Project “The Neolithic at Alsónyék in Southern Hungary – a persistent place for 1300 years in the 6-5th millennium BC” is headed by Eszter Bánffy and is stemmed from a rescue excavation carried out prior to motorway constructions. The ongoing work is a joint effort of experts dealing with archaeology, palaeo-environmental research, radiocarbon chronology, human and animal osteology, palaeopathology, aDNA and stable isotope analyses, as well as those of demographic, social structures, resilience, cognitive changes over time. The team members come from the Budapest Institute of Archaeology, from the Romano-Germanic Commission in Frankfurt am Main, but also from other institutes of Hungary, Germany, the UK and the United States. The evaluation of the results is connected to 5 PhD and 2 MA dissertations, and the expected number of monographic publications reaches the number of 8.

Founded in 2013, Shanghai Archaeology Forum (SAF) is a global initiative dedicated to promoting the investigation, protection and utilization of the world’s archaeological resources and heritage. The SAF Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have achieved distinction through innovative, creative, and rigorous works relating to our human past, and have generated new knowledge that has particular relevance to the contemporary world and our common future. It aims to promote excellence and innovation in archaeological research, advance public awareness and appreciation of archaeology, foster the protection and conservation of the world’s archaeological resources and heritage, and encourage international collaboration and partnerships between scholars and others from different countries.

The SAF Awards consist of two categories: major archaeological field-discoveries (Field Discovery Award) and major research findings (Research Award) which may be based on, although not primarily comprising, fieldwork. The award in the first category is made for archaeological excavations or surveys that have yielded major discoveries significantly furthering or even altering our knowledge of the human past, locally and/or globally. The award in the second category is made for archaeological research that is based on rigorous studies on specific subjects and/or laboratory and scientific analyses. They may be comprehensive and multi-year research projects, or major breakthroughs in theory, method or technique, or ground-breaking works of synthesis based on updated archaeological findings.

The nomination and selection of major archaeological field-discoveries and research findings for the SAF Awards program are made on a biennial basis. The nominations are reviewed and adjudicated by the Selection Committee according to the highest international standards of excellence and impartiality. No more than ten awards are made for each category. The third Shanghai Archaeology Forum (SAF) was organized by the Institute of Archaeology at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage, and Shanghai University, headed by Wang Wei, Secretary General, Shanghai Archaeological Forum.

The principal investigators of the selected nominations were invited to present their research at the third SAF meeting. The awards were handed over by the president of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and by the mayor of the city of Shanghai. More than two hundred participants from all over the world have celebrated the excellent new archaeological results, within the frames of the conference held between 8 and 11 December.